Ready-to-wear, natural-looking lashes
LOS ANGELES — One of the appealing aspects of artificial lashes is that looks can be changed with moods. During holidays, users can go all out with everything from feathers to jewels. Want a fluffy style? Ardell offers Wispies, a new collection to capture that trend. Those who want a glamorous appearance can opt for the new Double Ups. “We are also seeing consumers gravitate to very soft, tapered tip lashes,” said Jennifer Johnson, Ardell’s senior brand manager, adding a perfect solution which the company just created — Ardell Soft Touch.
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Ardell also is helping make it easier to apply lashes, especially for first-timers. Its top-selling lashes are now preloaded into a patented applicator called Press On Lash.
Mascaras, lashes volumize sales
Lead by incredible 60% growth in the brow segment, the eye category has been a bright spot for mass market retailers. According to IRI data for the 52-week period ended Sept. 6, eye category sales are up 5% to more than $2 billion.
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With those eyebrow-raising numbers, retailers are now looking to a slew of new mascaras and artificial lashes to keep the category on the upward climb. Mascaras, in fact, suffered somewhat from the attention on brows. Sales, according to IRI, were basically flat over the past year.
But that’s changing, buyers said, thanks to a new generation of products, especially Lash Sensational from Maybelline and Physicians Formula’s Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit.
According to IRI, Lash Sensational is already the sixth-fastest-moving mascara in a crowded field. What separates Lash Sensational from the pack is a patented fanning brush.
But also gathering applause is the Physicians Formula mascara, which is credited with giving the appearance of lash extensions. Retailers hope the invasion of super-performing lashes will make the category less price sensitive.
And for those who prefer to “fake” it, the choices of artificial lashes are multiplying. With nail color slowing somewhat, such chains as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart cleared more space for such accessory items as lashes — and not just for promotional times like Halloween. More suppliers have entered the fray, including Kiss Products and e.l.f., which joins such evergreen performers as Eylure and Ardell.
IRI figures revealed that the lash category continues to plump up at double-digit dollar growth rates, up almost 17% in multi-outlets and 13% in the drug channel, in the 52 weeks ended July 12. Jennifer Johnson, senior brand manager for Ardell, credited the buzz created through celebrities, bloggers, makeup artists and overall increased awareness of products to booming sales. “New consumers are coming into the category,” she confirmed.
Kiss tapped makeup artist Marni Burton to deliver tips and tricks for those who want to learn to apply at home.
The biggest trends in lashes heading into winter are more fluffy lashes, multidimensional choices and natural-looking options. But, according to Johnson, there is always an audience for long, thick glamorous choices.
An avenue for retailers to grab more of their share of lashes is to create a destination in beauty with educational information handy. “Specialty stores like Sephora have built a big following in lashes with mini boutiques,” said industry consultant Allan Mottus. “Drug stores can do the same and enjoy an add-on, high margin sale.”
What’s Next: Beauty oils get a makeover
The beauty market can be fickle, but the spin on beauty oils has been pretty radical even for the “hot or not” nature of the cosmetics industry. Not too long ago, promises of being oil-free were the way to move products off of the shelves. Oils were blamed for every bad thing, from clogged pores to terrible breakouts and greasy, unattractive skin. Fast forward to today, and oil-based skin products are riding high on the tidal wave of the natural movement. Simple, natural formulations with easy-to-understand ingredients are the order of the day, and chemical concoctions have been banished to the background.
Sarah Jindal, senior innovation and insights analyst of beauty and personal care for Mintel, notes that women in Eastern cultures have been using oil in skin care for thousands of years. She credits Japanese brand Shu Uemura with helping Western women warm up to the idea and beginning the trend by introducing their cleansing oils to American consumers.
“It was a smart thing to do in terms of getting Western consumers to adopt the concept of oil because they were rinsing the oils away,” said Jindal.
Natural, plant-derived oils have now become a staple in Western beauty and skin care. Some brands have even built their line around a marquee oil, most notably Josie Maran with her full line of Argan oil products for both skin care and color cosmetics. Tarte has had great success with its Maracuja oil. Not only are consumers looking for oils in different products, they also are using oils straight from the pantry. Coconut oil is one of the most popular as a multi-functional and cost effective way to moisturize, cleanse, remove makeup, condition hair and repair dry skin.
Natural oils also are getting a boost in popularity thanks to the trend for dewy, radiant skin. According to research from Mintel, oil is having a breakthrough as an ingredient in foundations to make the skin glow. It is a beneficial ingredient because it forms a layer on top of the makeup that helps skin to hold hydration longer, and it also helps the skin to look healthy and more elastic. Jindal noted that Bare Minerals was one of the pioneers of the oil serum foundation with its Bare Skin Serum Foundation. “From a textural standpoint, it’s very unique because it’s one of the first water-weight foundations with coconut oil as a hero ingredient,” she said.
Oil-based skin products are a natural extension for beauty brands that are known for natural and organic product formulas. Yes To has come out with Yes To Coconut, a line that features coconut oil and is marketed for the relief of dry, damaged skin and hair. The Honest Co. has its Body Oil made with over 95% certified organic oil. Burt’s Bees also has a range of oil-based products, including a Facial Cleansing Oil, Body Oil and Herbal Blemish Stick with Tea Tree Oil.
What’s Next is a weekly feature of Drug Store News, written by consumer beauty blogger Lonni Delane. The goal is to help give beauty merchants the cutting edge they need to stay ahead of the latest and greatest beauty trends.